The Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Jedman67, Nov 18, 2021.

  1. LaxScrutiny

    LaxScrutiny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Rafe's comments don't matter. Just watch the show and enjoy it for whatever it is and wherever it goes. Don't get obsessed with anything you read on the internet, whether it's Rafe or Jordan, or me, or anyone else.

    What I'm expecting is obviously by now much different from what you're expecting. I honestly don't care if I'm wrong as long as I get a good story along the way. If I get a crappy story you'll hear about it, but so far it's been great for me.

    Can we not just relax and enjoy what we're watching? I certainly understand both the appetite for speculation, and the loyalty to the original text, but this is just dragging on and on. I'm as guilty as anyone, but it's really not worth arguing endlessly. Let's just watch and comment on the story we're being given.

    We'll have the answers to this sooner rather than later.
     
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  2. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ I didn't mean for this debate/conversation to spiral into an endless loop, so you're right. The show will tell us who the Dragon Reborn is soon, and it'll either be the same person it was in the novels or it'll be somebody else.

    One last thing, though: I think it's interesting that the show has so far presented us with four different potential Dragons and none of them are the person the book readers are expecting it to be.
     
  3. Jedman67

    Jedman67 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd argue that only 3 individuals have been shown to be the DR, although 5 have been mentioned.
     
  4. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I got to 4 potential Dragons Reborn because of the following:
    * Moraine suspected that Egwene was the Dragon Reborn before Nyneave went super-healer
    * Thom suspects that Mat is the Dragon Reborn
    * Logain was claiming to be the Dragon Reborn
    * Nynaeve has just demonstrated the kind of strength of power that Moraine believes that the Dragon Reborn will wield

    Dana also revealed to us that the Dark One believes that any one of Rand, Egwene, Mat, Perrin, and an unidentified fifth person could be the Dragon Reborn, but the show hasn't yet shown us any concrete reasons to believe the Dark One's suspicions as far as Rand and Perrin are concerned.
     
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  5. Thestral

    Thestral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It still absolutely boggles the mind that they changed the metaphysics so far as to say that the Dragon Reborn could be reborn as a man or a woman, but not acknowledge that the Dragon Reborn being a woman would be... fine, because they can't go mad from the Taint.

    I mean, either that... or women can channel the tainted saidin as well as men, which complete explodes the entire worldbuilding conceit that "men can't be trusted with channeling because they channel saidin, and women channel saidar."

    The whole conceit of "saidin is destructive and thus the Aes Sedai are all women" is based on a gender dichotomy in the Source that the showrunners are apparently trying to get away from... but only to a limited extent.
     
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  6. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    WhatI think the show's contention is is that the Dragon Reborn could either "Break the world again or save it" by choice.
     
  7. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The danger of The Dragon Reborn wasn't that he was a male that could touch the one power and thus go mad (there were already plenty of those, regardless), it was specifically the prophecy that he would break the world again, AND have some part to play in the return of the Dark One. The latter part being the big question mark since IIRC the prophecy is rather non-specific as to which side of the conflict the Dragon will be.
    That plus being an innately stupidly powerful channeller is more than enough threat on it's own, be said Dragon male or female. Being male and thus supposedly doomed to madness on top of that, was just an extra source of tension.

    So I think it still works fine, and allows for a little more latitude and scope to the storytelling if reincarnation is not gender locked, so to speak.
     
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  8. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    Hey if they had Tom Bombadil take the ring, you could probably tell the Lord of the Rings in 10 episodes or less.;)
     
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  9. LaxScrutiny

    LaxScrutiny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    -Effectively, anyone on the planet could be the Dragon Reborn if you discount the Prophecy. (Born 20 years earlier when the Prophecy was given.)
    -We don't know exactly how old Nynaeve is, just that she's young for a Wisdom. She has a braid, but could have been just a few months earlier.
    -Both Moraine and the Dark one have determined that the "core four" were eligible. This is confirmation enough to at least consider them all.
    -We don't know exactly how old Nynaeve is, just that she's young for a Wisdom. She has a braid, but that could have been just a few months earlier.
    -Moraine suspects Nynaeve because of her explosion of power, and I'm sure the other Aes Sedai present do as well. The Reds in particular would love the Dragon Reborn to be a woman. Makes their jobs a lot easier.
    -It's likely that the Trolloc captured Nynaeve rather than immediately eating her because the Dark one suspected her. This would represent the potential fifth. I think the show wants us to see it that way as well based on how the last episode ended..
    -Thom knows a lot, but he doesn't know what went down in Shadar Logoth, or that Matt grabbed a mysterious dagger despite Lan's instructions to touch nothing, and started acting weird after that. There are other explanations for Matt's headspace. He could be the Dragon, but not because of Thom's concern. (See Chekhov's Gun for further explanation.)
    -Logain was just the latest of many to claim to be the DR. He's been gentled. Off the list. Considering the Dark One didn't send a Trolloc/Fade invasion to capture him, he was likely never on it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2021
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  10. Tirius

    Tirius Captain Captain

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    Having rewatched episode 4 and listened to a few other fans' reactions, I think I'm revising my initial opinion of it upward. It helps that my re-reading of the books has now passed the point where I noticed the importance of certain character interactions, that I felt the show has done better in actually showing at the right moment.

    Specifically, the point at the start of book 2 where we are first shown the start of the Nynaeve/Lan romance up close, at Fal Dara. Giving us time before that point to see how their relationship developed is actually a wonderful idea, and chronologically, it would really fit best in this part of the story, where they are largely apart from the rest of the group and before the urgency of the danger to the Eye is revealed.

    I am also noticing a lot of fans across the spectrum actually liked this episode. This makes me very happy, because I want the series to be popular and do well.

    I've already started thinking about what season 2 will include. I hadn't realised that book 2 had such a narrow perspective in who it chose to follow. It'll certainly be interesting to see which plots they bring forward for the other characters.
     
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  11. LaxScrutiny

    LaxScrutiny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: your spoiler, I had the same observation. :)

    Overall the series so far has exceeded my expectations. Where they've diverged from the books has been for good storytelling reasons. It's flowing smoothly and telling the story well. albeit in condensed form.
     
  12. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've tried to make it clear that I'm loving the show, but I haven't really expressed just how invested in it I truly am, so I'm going to definitively state that I haven't been this energized by a Fantasy property since 2014 when we got the conclusion of the Hobbit Trilogy.

    Even the BBC/HBO adaptation of His Dark Materials - which is a book series I absolutely adore - didn't inspire the level of fannish immersion that this show has, which speaks to just how good the show actually is and just how much more engaging than its source material it is for me.

    For some context, I currently subscribe to 16 different YouTube channels, and almost half of them (7) are dedicated to WoT.
     
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  13. Jedman67

    Jedman67 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I absolutely despised the Hobbit Trilogy. I was so looking forward to it, but honestly would have worked better as 2 slightly shorter movies or a single long movie.
    I never got around to watching The 4 Hour Cut, but I probably would have enjoyed it.
     
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  14. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I unabashedly love The Hobbit Trilogy, which is, for me, qualitatively on par with The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I will also forever defend the decision to split two films into three when it comes to the Hobbit franchise because the amount of actual footage that was generated by the An Unexpected Journey and There and Back Again scripts was so significant that several months' worth of the cast and crew's lives would have been discarded like detritus if the decision to create a Trilogy hadn't been made.

    For as much as I adore Peter Jackson's Middle-earth Saga, though, the degree to which those movies captured my interest is absolutely dwarfed by this WoT series.
     
  15. LaxScrutiny

    LaxScrutiny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I have always felt, going back close to 50 years, that the Hobbit was superb and nearly perfect as a novel. Call it 4.9 stars out of 5, and that's only because I can't find a way to give an absolute perfect rating to anything.

    The Lord of the Rings book trilogy was arguably great, certainly addictive, but lost a point mostly due to length and coherence.

    As far as the films go, I generally give them the same rating, with The Hobbit slightly on top.. There were some scenes in one that I'd rate higher than the other, but they pretty much balanced out with The Hobbit on top.

    Now, back to the WoT show. (Que Dozier) Same Dragon time, same Dragon channel.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2021
  16. FreezeC77

    FreezeC77 Commodore Commodore

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    Watching ep 5 and I'll keep my thoughts on the episode in spoiler since it just came out hours ago
    Nynaeve's power burst was a big ending and this episode doing a 'one month later' made it feel kinda oddly paced. I understand they are attempting to move thru large chunks of time in the books by this. I think the 'nature/personality' of Loial is probably fairly close, but some thoughts on the changes from the book I will put in a separate spoiler below.

    The Egwene/Perrin torture really continues to build on showing the brutality of Eamon Valda. Still not quite sure in that scene if Egwene misdirected and burned off Perrin's ropes or if Perrin summoned power. Perhaps it was meant to be ambiguous. He eyes were certainly glowing as well.

    The ending was a downer, but shows how hollow a warder becomes if the person they are bonded to dies.

    Now this is a book spoiler regarding Loial
    This is perhaps the first physical description change from the books that has actually bothered me. I get it. He's supposed to be a TEN FEET TALL creature and they obviously did not feel they could present that on screen and look ok... but I did not read the books when they first came out. There was a used book store just off campus when I was going to college and they went out of business and had one of those "fill up this box with as many books as you can for $10" and I bought several boxes. I got the first 8 Wheel of Time books in early 2000.

    So I've had a mental image and picture of Loial in my mind for 20+ years. Having Loial barely bigger than Rand and possibly not even as big as Perrin? It just doesn't compute right. It would be like seeing Gimli nearly the same height as Aragorn or Legolas.

    Loial fighting against Trolloc's because he's basically the same size as them... Wielding massive dual axes that are almost the size of a human. These images have been in my head so long it's really hard to look at this Loial as now presented.

    I totally get the budget and TV and all that. Obviously Gregor Clegane was not 8 feet tall in Game of Thrones like in the books... but he was massive and still looked it... but here we have Loial just shrunk down so much :(
     
  17. thribs

    thribs Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It was interesting watching episode 5 knowing who the dragon is now. Maybe the fake dragon was looking at him?
     
  18. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There's an incongruity in Episode 5 that I can't explain and that nobody seems to be talking about: Moraine knows that 'listening to the wind' - which both Nynaeve and Egwene can do - is Channeling, and yet she told Liandrin that Nynaeve hadn't Channeled before she healed everybody in the cave where Logain was being held.

    This means that Moraine straight-up lied to Liandrin even though Aes Sedai aren't supposed to be able to lie, and yet nobody within the hardcore fan community seems to be concerned about this.
     
  19. LaxScrutiny

    LaxScrutiny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Think of it as the difference between listening to music and being a musician, in a world where 99% of people are tone-deaf.
     
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  20. Tirius

    Tirius Captain Captain

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    Episode 5 review incoming.

    I'm... not sure what to make of this one. Very emotionally charged certainly, and for the book readers there is actually also quite a bit of new content that shows us things the books never really focused on, in this case the way that the warders, as a community, support one another away from their Aes Sedai. I do appreciate the show for continuing to give us those new experiences, and I will certainly take interest in how the new fans feel about this exploration of the warder bond. I am a little surprised how much screen time was devoted to this arc though, given that it is unique to the show. That said it was a very powerful way of showcasing the depth of the warder bond, something that will both come back later and also tells us a lot about Lan and Moiraine by its example.

    On the design front, I'm giving huge props for the CGI design of Tar Valon and Dragonmount behind it, and the White Tower sets, which are suitably impressive for one of the major settings of the series. Very different from what I'd imagined, but no less welcome. On the flipside... we can see the showrunners' comments about Loial's makeup being too much for the budget were not out of place. His actor seems to fit the role well though, so I hope his charm will make up for the lack of expressive ears. Oh, and maybe an appointment with a hairdresser? And no, I am not a fan of the Egwene and the Whitecloaks cleaning thing. We get that they are bad news.

    Book progress, with some creative effort: chapters 1-40. Rating: 3.5 great serpent rings (one is melting).

    The book comparison is... not going to be easy this week. The Mat and Rand storyline, short as it is, is fairly true to form, despite the fact that we are technically in the wrong city. I definately understand the show for not investing in sets and cast for Caemlyn this season, and it makes sense to focus on Tar Valon to continue to show more of the Aes Sedai and avoid the entire Andorian royal family's introduction. Missing out on Rand's first meeting with Elayne brings interesting questions as to how they are going to solve that one, not to mention that his meeting with Elaida is an important catalyst for the White Tower storyline later. I'm at least going to assume Elaida will be featured in the series, but at this point anything is possible. Rand's meeting with Loial is rather brief, though the Ogier does suitably cram as many words as he can into his few scenes. Still, given how important the Rand-Loial friendship is in the earlier books... it grows quickly because at the time, Rand is largely fending for himself and Loial becomes an excellent companion to take over from the bedridden Mat, which is not really the case here. I'm hoping we get something more substantial for this relationship to develop next week.

    The Perrin/Egwene story was where I felt the show took things a bit too far this time. Perrin's treatment at the hands of the Whitecloaks happens off-page in the books, and for different and arguably more understandable reasons beyond "Eamon Valda is a sadistic ***". I felt this segment opened strong with the Tinkers vs. Whitecloak scene, brutal though it was, but took things to far with the IMHO unneeded scrubbing scene. It risks Valda becoming a very one-note villain, and he seems to be taking over the role of Byar in the books as well. I've also realised how difficult Perrin's connection to the wolves is going to be for the show, given that we cannot hear either Perrin or the wolves' thoughts, and the latter don't speak at all. All the show can do, as it did here, is show us what the wolves are doing, with the odd ominous howl in the background. Will the series sacrifice Hopper on the runtime altar? Or is Perrin's journey of self-discovery being postponed to season 2, given that his role in the second book is minor? We will have to wait and see.

    The final arc, that of Lan, Nynaeve and Moiraine, is entirely unique to the show. There is very little I can do for this in terms of comparing it to the books. I will admit that in the absense of such expectations, I find myself enjoying these parts more on my first viewing. It is a strange thing, given that the only reason I am watching the show is because I know the books. The story of Stepin and Lan is very moving, and I also enjoyed seeing Moiraine let her hair down a bit more in her interaction with Alanna. The notion of Moiraine passing on Lan's bond is discussed here; a bit earlier than espected, but it makes a bit of sense given that Moiraine must already have realized Lan's attraction to Nynaeve. There are also hints being dropped about Moiraine having some knowledge about her own fate, and I would not be surprised if the show has decided to pull forward her first visit to the Finns to a point where this has already happened; I couldn't really tell if something relevant to that was behind the locked picture frame in her room though.

    What I'm also beginning to appreciate, is the show squeezing in nods to the fans and the larger plot in small moments. Logain's delusional outburst at seeing Mat and Rand here for example, or the fact that the eagle-eyed will spot someone walking around Tar Valon that we might not have expected to be there. And finally the continued concept of the cyclical nature of life through the Wheel returning, here in the way the rings of deceased Aes Sedai are returned to the place where we can assume new ones are made.

    I will also add I am enjoying the show's take on Alanna and Liandrin again this week, giving some extra dimensions to them early on. By this point I am fairly certain Liandrin is going to take on a bit of other Red sisters storylines. Possibly Galina Casban? At least, I hope so, given combining her with Elaida will have some.. black.. prospects. A bit of Myrelle Berengari's story is given to Alanna, as a Green who would consider taking on a warder whose Aes Sedai had died. This leads me to suspect a possible merger of some of their roles as well, which will have interesting consequences if they stick to Alanna's story from the books.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
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